Customer case studies and testimonials are the most valuable content in your sales and marketing toolkit. They convince others without you needing to brag; they show how you have helped customers with similar needs; and they deliver social proof.
Gathering customer case studies and testimonials is also a great way to boost your conviction in the work you do, making it much easier to sell yourself.
What’s not to like about that?
Yet many of us struggle with volume, value and validation when it comes to customer case studies and testimonials. Maybe you just don’t have enough of them. Or, what does exist is out of date, is too dry and technical, or not really relevant to the kind of business want to win now. Or, there’s a tendency to talk too much about what you did, and not enough about the impact of your work from the customer’s perspective.
Customers who agree to participate in case studies and testimonials will often do so with goodwill and good intentions, but can’t be relied on to drive the process themselves. Instead, they may suggest you write something for them, and send it to them for sign-off. It’s best to avoid this, because:
Customers will often be prepared to say much nicer things about you than you are prepared to say about yourself,
You don’t want all your testimonials to sound like you wrote them, and
You simply don’t have a complete picture of the value of your work without the customer’s active input.
The best customer case studies and testimonials showcase the value of your work in a way that will sell you into future customers, contracts, or projects.
Therefore, they must be a collaboration between you and the customer. You set the framework, decide what you want them to talk about, and drive the process. They provide the colour, data and lived experience, and their approval to use it.
So I’d like to share a simple, four-step process that is proven to deliver good quality customer case studies and testimonials – fast.
It involves minimal, targeted effort on both sides, and overcomes all the major problems: getting customer permission, setting the right context, obtaining customer content and getting sign-off.